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Bettman sends condolences on loss of 'incomparable' Gordie Howe

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement on the passing of hockey legend Gordie Howe praising the hockey icon and mourning his loss.

Howe died Friday at the age of 88. 

It notes Howe’s toughness and skill as a hockey player, his abilities as a family man and his importance as one of the greatest ambassadors for the sport of hockey.

Howe played 26 seasons in the NHL and six seasons in the World Hockey Association. He’s the all-time leader in games played in the NHL with 1,767. He’s second in career goals (801) and fourth in career points (1,850). He won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, and was a 23-time All-Star selection.

“All hockey fans grieve the loss of the incomparable Gordie Howe.

“A remarkable athlete whose mastery of our sport was reflected by the longevity of his career and by his nickname, ‘Mr. Hockey,’ Gordie’s commitment to winning was matched only by his commitment to his teammates, to his friends, to the Red Wings, to the city of Detroit and – above all – to his family. His devotion to Colleen through her illness and the fact that he extended his playing days into a fifth decade so he could play with his sons are only two examples of that true priority in his life. 

“Gordie’s greatness travels far beyond mere statistics; it echoes in the words of veneration spoken by countless players who joined him in the Hockey Hall of Fame and considered him their hero.  

“Gordie’s toughness as a competitor on the ice was equaled only by his humor and humility away from it. No sport could have hoped for a greater, more-beloved ambassador. 

“On behalf of the generations who were thrilled by his play and those who only know of his legend, and on behalf of all the young people and teammates he inspired, we send heartfelt wishes of condolence, comfort and strength to the Howe family and to all who mourn the passing of this treasured icon of our game.” 

NHLPA executive director Don Feher released a statement on Howe shortly later. 

“With the passing of Gordie Howe, the game of hockey has lost an icon. Gordie, or ‘Mr. Hockey’ as he was known to legions of fans, was a true legend who had an immense impact on the game, the Players who followed him and the fans who revered him. On behalf of the Players and staff of the NHLPA, we join Howe's family, friends and fans on mourning his loss.”

Howe passed away in Ohio. Funeral arrangements are incomplete, though Howe’s wishes were to be cremated with his ashes scattered on Bear Lake in northern Michigan.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

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